Kevin Costner Joining 'Draft Day' Comedy, Maybe Endorsed by NFL
After starring in some of the most critically acclaimed and universally loved sports films in Hollywood history, it looks like Kevin Costner is getting back in the game. The actor is in the middle of a career resurgence with roles in the Jack Ryan franchise (and its spin-off, Without Remorse) while developing a family action adventure series on the side, but Vulture reports that he'll play a Buffalo Bills manager in Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman's new sports comedy Draft Day for Paramount. Not only that, but the NFL is also reportedly considering endorsing the film and even committing some money to the project.
The story, which centers around Costner's character bustling around on draft day trying to trade the first pick of the draft into a series of better players for his flailing team, isn't just a football-centric story. There are relationship aspects as well, with the GM's family baggage popping up occasionally and, of course, a few surprising romantic developments as well. Sounds like a nice Moneyball-esque comedy that might concentrate a bit more on heart than pure numbers, and a great return to form for Costner, who hasn't made a true sports film since 1999's For Love of the Game.
It used to be the status quo for the National Football League to deny practically every Hollywood project that dropped on their doorstep, forcing everything from Any Given Sunday to The Replacements to create fake team names and hope that fans bought into the story without being distracted. But Vulture reports that the league is considering putting a $20 million investment into the film, an unheard of offer that could give them a lot of creative control over the project. But since this is a family-friendly project and not a searing critique of true league play, it shouldn't be a problem.
The NFL has seemingly stopped playing hard to get, just recently granting Ron Shelton's Crash-style drama Week 14 their blessing to use real team names and imagery. But with Costner's wholesome image and great track record with sports films (he's got another one on the way with Disney's McFarland), it's easy to see why the league would be interested in getting financially involved with this project, even though they haven't ever done anything like that before. We'll keep an eye on these talks as they progress, but the important thing here is that Costner is back in another sports film and that's something to celebrate